'Help rebuild what was lost:' Kenosha mayor seeks $30M from state after week of violent protests

City of Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian announced Sunday, Aug. 30 he has requested $30 million in state funding from Governor Tony Evers "to help the City of Kenosha rebuild and heal after the week of violence and damage experienced particularly in the downtown, uptown and surrounding areas of the city." 

“Kenosha is a safe community with hardworking individuals who are mourning and facing immense tragedy and devastation,'' said Mayor Antaramian in a news release Sunday. “We’re asking the state and community partners to help rebuild what was lost and to invest in programs and training for our young people.”

City vehicles set on fire in Kenosha

Kenosha fire officials reported 37 fires set on Monday night, Aug. 24 in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake on Sunday. The following night, two people were fatally shot, allegedly by 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse of Antioch, Illinois. 

The release from the mayor noted "the damage caused by violent demonstrators and rioters, led largely by people from outside the city, destroyed dozens of businesses, homes and city buildings." Sunday evening, rioting and looting led to burnt buildings, homes, car dealerships, city transit vehicles and more, the mayor said, noting the city is working with local business owners to estimate the total cost of damaged property.

Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian

“The City of Kenosha has experienced a significant economic impact, both our small business owners and large corporate tenants who have lived and worked here for generations,” said Common Council President David Bogdala in the release. “We need to move quickly to provide aid to our local businesses so we can get people back to work and enjoying our beautiful city.”

The closure of businesses due to COVID-19 and then the protests have put immense financial strain on the community of Kenosha, the mayor said in the release.

The mayor's release said the state aid will be used to help cover property damages, housing and business revitalization and initiatives that will encourage new businesses to invest in the area and costs incurred by the city during the recent violence.

Group unhappy with Gov. Evers' handling of Kenosha unrest launches effort to recall him and Lt. Gov. Barnes

The group collected signatures in Oak Creek Sunday. Paperwork has been filed with the state, and the group needs more than 668,000 signatures in 60 days.

'Don't need that right now,' Wisconsin lieutenant governor says of planned Pres. Trump visit to Kenosha

President Trump has throughout the summer cast American cities as under siege by violence and lawlessness, despite the fact that most of the protests demonstrating against racial injustice have been largely peaceful.

Wisconsin Senate to convene for special session 'in light of' Kenosha events

The special session will convene on Monday, Aug. 31 "in light of events that have transpired" in Kenosha.